By: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published: January 5th, 2016
Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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Mercedes is a flawed heroine, and she knows that; it doesn’t stop her from being who she is and trying to improve herself. She is also a person who tries to cut everyone away from her in order to stay in control. She has a rocky relationship with her divorced mom and dad, a person-with-benefits relationship with Zach (her “Wednesday” friend), and a growing distance between her best friend, Angela. The thing is, that all these relationships were developed and the characters developed, in such a way that I was emotionally attached to these characters and desperately wanted them to be happy and understood. Flynn is amazing at writing characters and developing them as well as their relationships.
Okay, so I’m pretty sure the message Flynn wanted to get across was that sex is okay as long as it’s consented and protected, slut-shaming is not okay, and sex is a precious thing. I loved that Mercedes was a big supporter of these things as this is a increasing problem that should be addressed more often in the high school setting. It’s okay to have sex whenever, as long as it is consented and protection is used.
So onto the one slightly negative thing. I loved how Mercedes wanted to secretly help these guys give their girlfriend’s the perfect first time, but I’m slightly confused as to why she thinks that they would keep their word and not tell anyone. She never really thought about her secret going out. And that is what worried me most because we all know people talk, and it was unimaginable how she thought it was never going to get out of their little circle. Although this was a problem, I liked how Flynn wrapped it up Mercedes’ story and solved the major conflicts related to this problem.
All in all, I absolutely loved Firsts. It was a story of a girl trying to figure out who she was through the themes of sexual identity, sex, love, and friendships. It was one of my few favourite contemporaries with hidden depth behind the plot. I highly suggest you pick it up.
Will you be reading Firsts?